Thursday, May 01, 2014

May Day!!!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

4th Class

Speaking only for myself, I have to say that this was the best class so far. Upon consulting my time piece, I was shocked to learn that there were only 10 minutes left. I began this class with a nice didgeridoo warm up. Perhaps,  I played longer than I realized. Regardless, the park was pretty quiet. One woman jogged around the perimeter with her huge shaggy dog. They had some real energy too - dog show material. Another highlight during today’s session was a family of crows playing around the southeast corner. The park is bordered on three sides by the backyards of various households. At one  point while I moved through my tai chi form, I spied a white pitt bull watching me through his fence. His look seemed to implore me to open the gate so he may enjoy the park’s generous expanse of green grass. Moments later he was gone. While going through the form the 4th time I really felt a solid sense of my chi. Really grounded. My head got clear. Everything felt lighter. Still no students but after 4 weeks of this 60 minute class I am quite pleased with its impact.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

3rd Class

My girlfriend must feel sorry for me because she agrees to attend class #3 in the park on White Oak Circle. We arrive 5 minutes after 10. No one else is in the park. Thus, I am right on time. Sharms can only attend till 10:30 so I keep it simple. We start with standing meditation - the nine gates - a lovely way to prepare for tai chi. Next we do a simple qi-gong kidney activation exercise. Then I move through my whole form. Sharms follows along quietly not saying too much. At 10:30 she cruises away on to her next mission, leaving me and my skateboard. The last half hour I do some standing meditation again before practicing the short form another 3 times. A young man sits at the other end of the park on one of the cement and wooden picnic tables while his decent sized dog gallops about smelling things.

I finish class 8 minutes early and utilize the time to research a couple tai chi related items. I find this amazing video of a grand master in my tai chi lineage:

Nice skating home. Smooth asphalt, warm air, quiet and peaceful.

The day we fight back agains mass surveillance

Friday, February 07, 2014

2nd Class

I hear it before I see it. Road construction. There’s a whole bunch of it in the town now. Itsa bonanza. Anyway, less than a block from where I will be teaching tai chi this morning, big machines and big motors making a racket grinding away. I bike slowly on my old red Stumpjumper through a congestion of construction equipment and some workers - careful not to raise any hackles. Thats when the  thought appeared: I need a dojo studio. Itsa no brainer. When I arrive at the park, I am a bit surprised. There are 2 people doing what looks a lot like qi-gong in the area of the park where I teach (yeah, yeah, i know its just my second class). Hmmm I think parking my bike. They are silently going through their movements and pay me no mind. I realize: wow, its just a coincidence. I have not been to this park very often so I don’t know what the norm is. I can’t help but dance through the various scenarios as to how these two came to be here at the precise time as I. Is it my little bit of facebook advertising? I will never know because I went through my entire routine of tai chi and didge playing without even making eye contact with them. Meanwhile, dogs roamed around the park some unleashed - some leashed to their owners congregating amongst themselves. At one point I watched amusingly as several of the dog owners gathered right next to the meditators, laughing and cackling and talking loudly they seemed completely oblivious that there were folks meditating right under their noses.

Even though it was so close, the road construction was not very disturbing. I coast home a different way avoiding the machines, orange signs and noise. Still no students but I don’t care. I think about the kind of space I’d like to rent. Open. Quiet. Wood floors. Lots of light. But, for now, the park will do.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

1st class

I pedaled my grey 429c the mile or so from my apartment to the park with only a mild sense of trepidation. This was my 1st tai chi class. I had not advertised at all except for telling several friends and thus would have been shocked to see anyone there besides the daily dog walkers. Despite the fact that there were no students, my first class went quite well. I practiced my form for 40 minutes, played the didge for 15 minutes and then standing meditation for 5 minutes. I visualized various scenarios within the teaching environment. The park was nicer than I remembered it. Several super old Oak trees kept a decent amount of the space sheltered within their collective canopy of green leaves. During my hour in the park, several dogs and their respective human counterparts roamed about while the 4 leggeds relieved themselves amongst the trees. I coasted home enjoying the air feathering though my 1/4 beard feeling mellow and determined to continue on.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

David! Can you hear me?

David! Can you hear me? by Bardo Surfer
David! Can you hear me?, a photo by Bardo Surfer on Flickr.

I am David Gregory - Hear me roar!

Thursday, July 04, 2013

We are your friends, family, fellow citizens and fellow humans so please do not call us: "adversaries", "enemies", "targets" etc. Good people do not spy on their friends.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

fly away with me


Seems like I'm feeling a tad inspired by all of this fertilizer discourse and hyperbolic tales of horror spewing and bubbling up from the depths of swampy corruption. Please don't forget about all of these lovely red herrings swimming around a media sea tainted by fear, artifice and whatnot. Basically boil it all away and you are left with a complete lack of knowledge concerning what it means to be a journalist. And that lack of knowledge, ladies and gentlemen, members of the press, is now a requirement. That will be all.

art credit:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

In the middle

Earlier this year during my January Turtle Bay visit, I paddled out to Pool Bar. When I got out there I counted another 30 or so surfers competing for the 3 different launching pads. The memory of my brother's beta whispered in my ear. "When its crowded at Pool Bar, I paddle to the middle." Thus I began the 100 yard or so paddle to the middle. As I approached the zone I could see that there was one other surfer. Just as I arrived and sat on my board, the other surfer paddled away head down no words exchanged. He was done. Initially, I just sat there watching the waves, imagining the best take offs. Its a little different surfing alone in the middle of the bay, 150 yards from shore. Soon, I found the pattern and began to catch sweet, couple-feet overhead waves. They actually seemed bigger and longer than anything happening at Pool Bar. After 20 minutes or so of catching waves alone, I watched 5 boogie boarders kicking their way onto the scene. They were high schoolers, locals, and the smiles came easy and the light danced out of their eyes. They whooped it up, cheering each other on. They brought a level of enthusiasm and comradery that I don't see very often among surfers. They'd cheer me on as well. Turned out 2 of them know my brother - he's been teaching for years as Kahuku High School. These were really fun waves and they don't happen all the time. I managed to stay out there for two and a half hours. Finally paddling in with the last of my energy as the the light began to fade. Soon, I was walking across the golf course sending pleasant thoughts of gratitude to my brother Bri who helped make that memorable surf sesh possible.

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Gonna turn your brown waves blue

2008 January North Shore, Oahu
There had just been a storm. I stood on the picnic table and watched the small swell crash against the reef. The water was brown due to the several inches of last night's rain washing soil into the ocean via the various river mouths. Despite the fact that the influence of the storm continued to wreak havoc, I decided to paddle out on my sister's 8-6 V board. There wasn't much wind and I hadn't surfed for a few days so I just went for it. I grabbed the board out of her garage and soon was making my way towards Freddy's. I prefer to paddle around the reef rather than walk up the channels. I spent 30 minutes observing the chaotic conditions up close. 'Oh well', I thought to my self. Time to paddle in. I decided to get a little more exercise by paddling down to Sunset. Every where I looked it was brown. That was some rainstorm. As I got closer to Sunset I caught a glimpse of someone surfing there. To my utter amazement, the water was clear blue and the swell was producing perfect 3 foot (Hawaiian) waves that lasted for at least 200 yards and there was one guy surfing them.
Needless to say, I surfed these perfect head high waves for the next couple hours until my arms were about to fall off. The waves kept coming and coming without let up. Every once in a while I'd exchange a couple words with the other surfer - he was an Ausie - but mostly we gave all of our attention to this sacred experience. Just as I began to paddle in, 2 more guys appeared. It was their shift. My Job was done. They looked enthralled, salivating at the empty line up and magical conditions.

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Surrender your thumb

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Surrender your thumb

Today I was woken up by jackhammers. I tried to reclaim my sleep but the noise was like a machine gun and I could feel the vibration in my teeth. The t-house I sleep in rests among many citrus trees: orange, tangerine, blood orange. There's also some peach trees and fig trees. What finally led me out of my bed, though, was the voices of a woman and a man. The woman was oohing and ahhing about how delicious the blood orange was. The man gives in to her temptation and agrees with her oohs. "Lets try the tangerine. Ughh the tangerine is terrible." I hear her say. By the time I zip open the canvas and step out of the t-house, the man and woman are gone. I still do not know who they were...

As I begin my yoga/tai chi practice I receive a call from Bill. "Do you want to help me get the Volvo to the auto body shop?"

"Sure, give me a call when you are ready."

"OK, it'll be 30 minutes."

My practice takes over an hour but I know that Bill's 30 minutes equates to 90 minutes real time. Sure enough, I finish the exercises, hop in the shower and as I am putting on some fresh clothes: the phone rings. "Meet me at the guesthouse in a couple mintues." Bill says.

We take off out of the estate, Bill in his new blue Cross Country Vovo and me in the now old (only 65,000 miles though) brown Cross Country Volvo. First we have to stop at the new bank in town. Then we are gone, west on 33 and then south on 101. It's always interesting following Bill. It seems like he's trying to lose me but it doesn't happen. I imagine us racing in the Indy 500: no contest, I'd win that race. He seems distracted and we get off on the wrong exit twice. When we make it there he's like: "My blood sugar's off or something. I don't know how you go without eating? How do you do it?"

Driving back up 101, Bill has me open a notebook, grab a pen and begin taking down the work order which will end up having 22 tasks for me to take care of for the upcoming house rental.

After we return home, after I have eaten an amazing lunch prepared by Eliza, after helping her with some food prep for her todays catering gig, I begin to take care of some of the work on the list. Its all easy stuff: moving beds, cleaning the outside of a yurt, fixing a fan, measuring a doorway...

I decide to stop at 6:15. Devin and I will meet to play tennis at 7:15. This gives me time to make a blueberry smoothie and then watch Will play the Revenge of the Sith video game. He just loves video games. He lives for them. This game is amazing and the graphics are the bomb. I spot Devin by his truck.

We leave the land in Devin's truck, ease down the hill, slip thru back roads, cut thru the traffic of main street and then pull into the parking lot for the lower tennis courts of Libby Park. We warm up for at least 30 minutes. I feel loose. My forehand feels more natural than it has in quite a while, serve is ripping, net game is on, backhand is backing Dev up. We begin with me seriving. I am up 40-5 and then I hit a winner that Devin lunges for, trips and falls. He rolls on his back and is holding his thumb. "Why is this happening? Why is this happening?" He says with a powerful whisper.

I drive Devin in his white natural gas powered truck to the hospital. When we arrive it seems mellow. Just as the nurse begins to ask the preliminary questions, the phone rings off the hook. Five phone conversations later, she places her attention on Dev. Who knows how long this will take. Dev suggests I go get some dinner and I agree. While eating at Rainbow Bridge, Dev calls me from a hospital phone: "Get me out of here" he says in a whisper. Turns out he'll be there another hour; asks me to get him some food from his studio.

Back at the hospital, the floresent lights are bright and false. Almost all of the nurses and doctors I see seem unhealthy, overweight, sallow complexions. It can't be good for you to be under these lights all day with all of these sick people around. I chance upon Devin waiting for the results of his x-ray. I hand him his meal and a book; he expresses much grattitude towards me for helping out. "Didj Nightingale" I say.

Soon enough, the doctor arrives and they both stare at the x-ray picture of Devin's damaged thumb. The doctor uses a pen to show where there is a small crack on a small bone. There is a fracture and a couple small pieces of bone. He will need a hand specialist. The doctor refers Dev to another hospital that can refer him to a specialist. This means that devin will go wait in line at the county emergency room. This will expedite the time it takes for him gain an appointment. Otherwise it might take 3 weeks. Dev takes it all surprisingly well.

While walking back to his truck, he thanks me again for sticking with him and helping out. "You are a good friend." He says.

"I'm impressed by how well you handled all that. That stuff drives me crazy. You have to go to another emergency room. That's crazy."

Dev: "At this point, I just surrender to what ever is going to happen."
posted by Mike Didj at 11:11 PM 0 waves
Monday, May 30, 2005

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Nepotism can only take you so far

The instant I enter the dessert and chips aisle in Rainbow Bridge, I spy a young man with close-cropped brown hair obligingly pecking a homely blonde-haired girl on the cheek; her head tilted upwards suggesting a sense of entitlement while his eyes cast downwards towards the cream puffs. It only takes a fraction of a second to recognize who they are: its the newlyweds. Her sly glance takes in my presence, she whispers in his ear, they turn their backs and slither away. Pear-shaped smugness.
Such a small town, my girlfriend & I live in. The flash of resentment quickly fades and soon I ponder the turn in the road that we find ourselves on.

We were informed while vacationing on Oahu a few months ago. Once the initial shock wore off - a few days after our landlord's untimely phone call - I was able to realize the opportunity handed to us by our cottage's self-absorbed future occupants. What is that opportunity you ask?

Please allow me to elaborate. How many times have I sabotaged my life as a result of hanging on to indignation? Countless. The sooner I catch myself stuck in this morose, the sooner I can feel my way out of it. Bitterness rarely attracts anything except more hard feelings. Bitterness creates a barrier that most people will not cross. Its really that simple.

Of course, emotions cannot be bottled up. They must be set free. Expressed.

Today, I learned that our new home will be available at the end of April. The newlyweds are not happy about this. In their perfect little world, my girlfriend, cat and I would have been long gone. Perhaps the reality of this situation has set in for them. When you decide to use nepotism to move in to a home that is already occupied, prepare yourself to wait. It takes time to find the right home. The housing laws of California happen to agree with me. Yell at your uncle all you want. Cajole your father to yell at his brother - your uncle. Pressure your uncle to pressure us. Scream. Cry. It does not matter. We will move out when we are ready.

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